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G.R. No. 22948, People v. Carlos, 47 Phil.

626
Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC March 17, 1925 G R No 229!" THE PEOP E O! THE PH" "PP"NE "S #N$S, plaintiff#appellee, $s !#USTO %. C#R OS, %efen%ant#appellant M.H. de Joya, Jose Padilla, Vicente Sotto and Monico Mercado for appellant. Attorney-General Villa-Real and City Fiscal Guevara for appellee. OSTR#N$, J.: &his is an appeal fro' a %ecision of the Court of (irst )nstance of the Cit* of Manila fin%in+ the %efen%ant (austo , Carlos +uilt* of the cri'e of 'ur%er an% sentencin+ hi' to suffer life i'prison'ent, -ith the accessor* penalties prescribe% b* la- an% -ith the costs )t appears fro' the e$i%ence that the $icti' of the alle+e% 'ur%er, .r Pablo G /it*ar, on March 0, 192!, in Mar* Chiles 1ospital, perfor'e% a sur+ical operation upon the %efen%ant2s -ife for appen%icitis an% certain other ail'ents /he re'aine% in the hospital until the 1"th of the sa'e 'onth, but after her release therefro' she -as re3uire% to +o se$eral ti'es to the clinic of .octor /it*ar at No !4 Escolta, for the purpose of %ressin+ the -oun%s cause% b* the operation 5n these occasions she -as acco'panie% b* her husban%, the %efen%ant &he %efen%ant states that on one of the $isits, that of March 24, 192!, .octor /it*ar sent hi' out on an erran% to bu* so'e 'e%icine, an% that -hile %efen%ant -as absent on this erran% .octor /it*ar outra+e% the -ife &he %efen%ant further states that his -ife infor'e% hi' of the outra+e shortl* after lea$in+ the clinic Not-ithstan%in+ this it ne$ertheless appears that he a+ain -ent there on March 2"th to consult the %ecease% about so'e lun+ trouble fro' -hich he, the %efen%ant, -as sufferin+ 1e -as +i$en so'e 'e%ical treat'ent an% appears to ha$e 'a%e at least one 'ore $isit to the clinic -ithout re$ealin+ an* special resent'ent 5n Ma* 12, 192!, the %efen%ant, sufferin+ fro' so'e sto'ach trouble, entere% the Philippine General 1ospital -here he re'aine% until Ma* 1", 192!, an% -here he -as un%er the care of t-o other ph*sicians 6hile in the hospital her recei$e% a letter 7E8hibit 59 fro' .octor /it*ar as:in+ the i''e%iate settle'ent of the account for the professional ser$ices ren%ere% his -ife /hortl* after his release fro' the hospital the %efen%ant sou+ht an inter$ie- -ith .octor /it*ar an% -ent to the latter2s office se$eral ti'es -ithout fin%in+ hi' in 5n one of these occasions he -as as:e% b* an e'plo*ee of the office, the nurse Caba;era, if he ha% co'e to settle his account, to -hich the %efen%ant ans-ere% that he %i% not belie$e he o-e% the %octor an*thin+ )n the afternoon of Ma* 2<th the %efen%ant a+ain -ent to the office of the %ecease% an% foun% hi' there alone Accor%in+ to the e$i%ence of the prosecution, the %efen%ant then, -ithout an* preli'inar* 3uarrel bet-een the t-o, attac:e% the %ecease% -ith a fan#:nife an% stabbe% hi' t-ice &he %ecease% 'a%e an effort to escape but the %efen%ant pursue% hi' an% o$erta:in+ hi' in the hall outsi%e the office, inflicte% another -oun% upon hi' an% as a conse3uence if the three -oun%s he %ie% -ithin a fe- 'inutes &he %efen%ants 'a%e his escape but surren%ere% hi'self to the Constabular* at Malolos, Bulacan, in the e$enin+ of the follo-in+ %a*

&he %efen%ant a%'its that he :ille% the %ecease% but 'aintains that he %i% so in self#%efense 1e e8plains that he -ent to .octor /it*ar2s office to protest a+ainst the a'ount of the fee char+e% b* the %octor an%, in an* e$ent, to as: for an e8tension of the ti'e of pa*'ent= that %urin+ the con$ersation upon that sub>ect the %ecease% insulte% hi' b* tellin+ hi' that inas'uch as he coul% not pa* the a'ount %e'an%e% he coul% sen% his -ife to the office as she -as the one treate%, an% that she coul% then tal: the 'atter o$er -ith the %ecease= that this state'ent -as 'a%e in such an insolent an% conte'ptuous 'anner that the %efen%ant beca'e +reatl* incense% an% re'e'berin+ the outra+e co''itte% upon his -ife, he assu'e% a threatenin+ attitu%e an% challen+e% the %ecease% to +o %o-nstairs -ith hi' an% there settle the 'atter= that the %ecease% thereupon too: a poc:et#:nife fro' the center %ra-er of his %es: an% attac:e% the %efen%ant, en%ea$orin+ to force hi' out of the office= that the %efen%ant, 'a:in+ use of his :no-le%+e of fencin+, succee%e% in ta:in+ the :nife a-a* fro' the %ecease% an% blin%e% b* fur* stabbe% hi' first in the ri+ht si%e of the breast an% then in the epi+astric re+ion, an% fearin+ that the %ecease% 'i+ht secure so'e other -eapon or recei$e assistance fro' the people in the a%>oinin+ roo', he a+ain stabbe% hi', this ti'e in the bac: &he %efen%ant2s testi'on* as to the stru++le %escribe% is in conflict -ith the e$i%ence presente% b* the prosecution But assu'in+ that it is true, it is $er* e$i%ent that it fails to establish a case of self#%efense an% that, in realit*, the onl* 3uestion here to be %eter'ine% is -hether the %efen%ant is +uilt* of 'ur%er or of si'ple ho'ici%e &he court belo- foun% that the cri'e -as co''itte% -ith pre'e%itation an% therefore constitute% 'ur%er &his fin%in+ can onl* be sustaine% b* ta:in+ into consi%eration E8hibit ?, a letter -ritten to the %efen%ant b* his -ife an% sie@e% b* the police in searchin+ his effects on the %a* of his arrest )t is %ate% Ma* 25, 192!, t-o %a*s before the co''ission of the cri'e an% sho-s that the -riter feare% that the %efen%ant conte'plate% resortin+ to ph*sical $iolence in %ealin+ -ith the %ecease% Counsel for the %efen%ant ar+ues $i+orousl* that the letter -as a pri$ile+e% co''unication an% therefore not a%'issible in e$i%ence &he nu'erical -ei+ht of authorit* is, ho-e$er, to the effect that -here a pri$ile+e% co''unication fro' one spouse to another co'es into the han%s of a thir% part*, -hether le+all* or not, -ithout collusion an% $oluntar* %isclosure on the part of either of the spouses, the pri$ile+e is thereb* e8tin+uishe% an% the co''unication, if other-ise co'petent, beco'es a%'issible 72" R C ? , 504 an% authorities there cite% 9 /uch is the $ie- of the 'a>orit* of this court Professor 6i+'ore states the rule as follo-sA (or docu ents of co''unication co'in+ into the possession of a t!ird person, a %istinction shoul% obtain, analo+ous to that alrea%* in%icate% for a client2s co''unications 7ante, par 2025, 202<9= i. e , if the* -ere obtaine% fro' the a%%ressee b* $oluntar* %eli$er*, the* shoul% still be pri$ile+e% 7for other-ise the pri$ile+e coul% b* collusion be practicall* nullifie% for -ritten co''unications9= but if the* -ere obtaine% surreptitiousl* or other-ise -ithout the a%%ressee2s consent, the pri$ile+e shoul% cease 75 6i+'ore on E$i%ence, 2n% e% , par 2009 9 &he letter in 3uestion -as obtaine% throu+h a search for -hich no -arrant appears to ha$e been issue% an% counsel for the %efen%ant cites the causes of Bo*% an% Bo*% vs Bnite% /tates 711< B / , <1<9 an% /il$erthorne ?u'ber Co an% /il$erthorne vs Bnite% /tates 7251 B / , 0"59 as authorit* for the proposition that %ocu'ents obtaine% b* ille+al searches of the %efen%ant2s effects are not a%'issible in e$i%ence in a cri'inal case )n %iscussin+ this point -e can %o not better than to 3uote Professor 6i+'oreA &he fore+oin+ %octrine 7i. e , that the a%'issibilit* of e$i%ence is not affecte% b* the ille+alit* of the 'eans throu+h -hich the part* has been enable% to obtain the e$i%ence9 -as ne$er %oubte% until the appearance of the ill#starre% 'a>orit* opinion of Bo*% vs Bnite% /tates, in 1""5, -hich has e8ercise% unhealth* influence upon subse3uent >u%icial opinion in 'an* /tates

888888888 &he pro+ress of this %octrine of Bo*% vs Bnite% /tates -as as follo-sA 7a9 &he Bo*% Case re'aine% un3uestione% in its o-n Court for t-ent* *ears= 'eanti'e recei$in+ fre3uent %isfa$or in the /tate Courts 7ante, par 21"09 7"9 &hen in A%a's vs Ne- Cor:, in 194!, it -as $irtuall* repudiated in the (e%eral /upre'e Court, an% the ortho%o8 prece%ents recor%e% in the /tate courts 7ante, par 21"09 -ere e8pressl* appro$e% 7c9 Ne8t, after another t-ent* *ears, in 191! D 'o$e% this ti'e, not b* erroneous histor*, but b* 'isplace% senti'entalit* D the (e%eral /upre'e Court, in 6ee:s vs Bnite% /tates, reverted to t!e ori#inal doctrine of the Bo*% Case, but $it! a condition, vi% , that the ille+alit* of the search an% sei@ure shoul% first ha$e been %irectl* liti+ate% an% establishe% b* a 'otion, 'a%e before trial, for the return of the thin+s sei@e%= so that, after such a 'otion, an% then onl*, the ille+alit* -oul% be notice% in the 'ain trial an% the e$i%ence thus obtaine% -oul% be e8clu%e% 7! 6i+'ore on E$i%ence, 2n% e% , par 21"! 9 )n the /il$erthorne ?u'ber Co case the Bnite% /tates /upre'e Court a%here% to its %ecision in the 6ee:s Case &he %octrine lai% %o-n in these cases has been follo-e% b* so'e of the /tate courts but has been se$erel* critici@e% an% %oes not appear to ha$e been +enerall* accepte% But assu'in+, -ithout %eci%in+, that it pre$ails in this >uris%iction it is, ne$ertheless, un%er the %ecisions in the 6ee:s an% /il$erthorne cases, inapplicable to the present case 1ere the ille+alit* of the search an% sei@ure -as not E%irectl* liti+ate% an% establishe% b* a 'otion, 'a%e before trial, for the return of the thin+s sei@e% E &he letter E8hibit ? 'ust, ho-e$er, be e8clu%e% for reasons not %iscusse% in the briefs &he letter -as -ritten b* the -ife of the %efen%ant an% if she ha% testifie% at the trial the letter 'i+ht ha$e been a%'issible to i'peach her testi'on*, but she -as not put on the -itness#stan% an% the letter -as therefore not offere% for that purpose )f the %efen%ant either b* ans-er or other-ise ha% in%icate% his assent to the state'ents containe% in the letter it 'i+ht also ha$e been a%'issible, but such is not the case here= the fact that he ha% the letter in his possession is no in%ication of ac3uiescence or assent on his part &he letter is therefore nothin+ but pure hearsa* an% its a%'ission in e$i%ence $iolates the constitutional ri+ht of the %efen%ant in a cri'inal case to be confronte% -ith the -itnesses for the prosecution an% ha$e the opportunit* to cross#e8a'ine the' )n this respect there can be no %ifference bet-een an or%inar* co''unication an% one ori+inall* pri$ile+e% &he 3uestion is ra%icall* %ifferent fro' that of the a%'issibilit* of testi'on* of a thir% part* as to a con$ersation bet-een a husban% an% -ife o$erhear% b* the -itness &esti'on* of that character is a%'issible on the +roun% that it relates to a con$ersation in -hich both spouses too: part an% on the further +roun% that -here the %efen%ant has the opportunit* to ans-er a state'ent 'a%e to hi' b* his spouse an% fails to %o so, his silence i'plies assent &hat cannot appl* -here the state'ent is containe% in an unans-ere% letter &he Attorne*#General in support of the contrar* $ie- 3uotes 6i+'ore, as follo-sA &'press co unication is al-a*s a proper 'o%e of e$i%encin+ :no-le%+e or belief Co''unication to a !us"and or $ife is al-a*s recei$able to sho- probable :no-le%+e b* the other 7e8cept -here the* are li$in+ apart or are not in +oo% ter's9, because, -hile it is not certain that the one -ill tell the other, an% -hile the probabilit* is less upon so'e sub>ects than upon others, still there is al-a*s so'e probabilit*, D -hich is all that can be fairl* as:e% for a%'issibilit* 71 6i+'ore, id , par 2<1 9 &his 'a* possibl* be +oo% la-, thou+h 6i+'ore cites no authorit* in support of his assertion, but as far as -e can see it has little or nothin+ to %o -ith the present case As -e ha$e alrea%* inti'ate%, if E8hibit ? is e8clu%e%, there is in our opinion not sufficient e$i%ence in

the recor% to sho- that the cri'e -as pre'e%itate% &he prosecution 'aintains that the cri'e -as co''itte% -ith alevosia &his contention is base% principall* on the fact that one of the -oun%s recei$e% b* the %ecease% sho-e% a %o-n-ar% %irection in%icatin+ that the %ecease% -as sittin+ %o-n -hen the -oun% -as inflicte% 6e %o not thin: this fact is sufficient proof &he %irection of the -oun% -oul% %epen% lar+el* upon the 'anner in -hich the :nife -as hel% (or the reasons state% -e fin% the %efen%ant +uilt* of si'ple ho'ici%e, -ithout a++ra$atin+ or e8tenuatin+ circu'stances &he sentence appeale% fro' is therefore 'o%ifie% b* re%ucin+ the penalt* to fourteen *ears, ei+ht 'onths an% one %a* of reclusion te poral, -ith the correspon%in+ accessor* penalties an% -ith the costs a+ainst the appellant /o or%ere% Jo!nson, Malcol , Jo!ns, and Ro ualde%, JJ., concur. Separa&e Opi'io's %" #MOR, J., %issentin+A 1is 1onor, the >u%+e -ho trie% this case, inserts in his %ecision the testi'on* of the -itness ?ucio Fa$illonar as follo-sA &he -itness, ?ucio Fa$illonar, testifie% that he -ent to the office of the %ecease% so'e 'inutes before si8 o2cloc: in that e$enin+ in or%er to ta:e hi', as ha% pre$iousl* been a+ree% upon bet-een the', so that the* 'i+ht retire to+ether to Pasi+, Ri@al, -here the* resi%e% then= that ha$in+ notice% that the %ecease% -as bus* in his office, tal:in+ -ith a 'an about accounts, instea% of enterin+, he sta*e% at the -aitin+ roo', -al:in+ fro' one en% to another, -hile -aitin+ for that 'an to +o out= that in $ie- of the pitch of the $oice in -hich the con$ersation -as hel% bet-een the %ecease% an% his $isitor, an% -hat he ha% hear%, thou+h little as it -as, of sai% con$ersation, he belie$es that there -as not, nor coul% there ha$e been, an* chan+e of har% -or%s, %ispute or %iscussion of an* :in%= that shortl* thereafter, he sa- the screen of the %oor of the %ecease%2s office su%%enl* open, an% the %ecease% rush out staine% -ith bloo%, an% follo-e% closel* b* the accuse% -ho then bran%ishe% a steel ar' in the ri+ht han%= that upon seein+ the %ecease% an% o$erta:in+ hi', leanin+ upon one of the screens of the %oor of a tailor shop a fe- feet fro' his office, sli+htl* incline% to the ri+ht, -ith the ar's lo-ere% an% about to fall to the floor, the accuse% stabbe% hi' on the ri+ht si%e of the chest, thereb* inflictin+ a -oun% on the ri+ht nipple= an% that then the accuse% %escen%e% the staircase to escape a-a*, at the sa'e ti'e that the %ecease% -as fallin+ to the +roun% an% -as bein+ ta:en b* hi' -ith the assistance of other persons fro' sai% place to a lancape 7a sofa9 -here he %ie% a fe- 'inutes later, unable to sa* a -or% )n %eci%in+ the 3uestion as to -hether the act co''itte% is 'ur%er, -ith the 3ualif*in+ circu'stance of treacher*, as clai'e% b* the Attorne*#General, the trial >u%+e sa*s that the principal +roun% of the prosecution for hol%in+ that the co''ission of the cri'e -as atten%e% b* the 3ualif*in+ circu'stance of treacher* is a 'ere inference fro' the testi'on* of ?ucio Fa$illonar, an% that the nature of the -oun%s foun% on the epi+astric re+ion of the %ecease% an% his bac: %o not 'ean an*thin+, because the* coul% ha$e been inflicte% -hile the %ecease% -as stan%in+, seate% or incline% A careful consi%eration of the testi'on* of ?ucio Fa$illonar, as set out in the >u%+'ent appeale% fro', -ill sho- that, accor%in+ to sai% e*e-itness, the %ecease% -as -ith his ar's lo-ere% an% about to fall to the floor -hen the accuse% stabbe% hi' on the ri+ht si%e of the chest -ith the -eapon he -as carr*in+, thereb* inflictin+ a -oun% on the ri+ht nipple, an% that, accor%in+ to the %octor -ho e8a'ine% the -oun%s, an*one of the' coul% ha$e cause% the %eath of the %ecease% &hese bein+ the facts pro$en, ) a' of opinion that application 'ust be 'a%e here of the %octrine lai% %o-n b* this court

in the case of Bnite% /tates vs Balu*ot 7!4 Phil , 0"59, -herein it -as hel% that EE$en thou+h a %ea%l* attac: 'a* be be+un un%er con%itions not e8hibitin+ the feature of alevosia, *et if the assault is continue% an% the cri'e consu''ate% -ith alevosia, such circu'stance 'a* be ta:en into consi%eration as a 3ualif*in+ factor in the offense of 'ur%er E ) a%'it that none of the -itnesses -ho testifie% in this case has seen the be+innin+ of the a++ression= but it positi$el* appears fro' the testi'on* of the sai% -itness ?ucio Fa$illonar that, not-ithstan%in+ that the %ecease% -as alrea%* -oun%e% an% about to fall to the floor, he struc: hi' -ith another 'ortal blo- -ith the -eapon he -as carr*in+, -hich sho-s that the accuse% consu''ate% the cri'e -ith treacher* (or the fore+oin+, ) a' of opinion that the >u%+'ent appeale% fro' 'ust be affir'e%, consi%erin+ the act co''itte% as 'ur%er, -ith the 3ualif*in+ circu'stance of treacher*, an% in this sense ) %issent fro' the 'a>orit* opinion